Om Namo Narayanaya - Yoga in Kerala
on Jane in India (India), 28/Dec/2011 15:14, 34 days ago
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From Amritsar I returned to Delhi for a few days, crashing with some of the Delhi volunteers. I ran the 6k Great Delhi Run with two of the other volunteers. I also popped into the VSO office to say goodbyes and have my final VSO lunch (the VSO cook Anil is amazing and cooks scrumptious lunches, so when we need to go to the office, we'll strategically time it to arrive just before lunchtime!). I then flew from Delhi down south to Trivandrum in Kerala, back to the hot weather - hooray! I joined a 2-week yoga course at the Sivananda Ashram in Neyyar Dam. It was called a "yoga vacation" but with a schedule like this the term "vacation" is stretching it!:5:20 - Wake up bell6:00 - Morning Satsang (meditation, chanting and a talk)7:30 - Chai8:00 - Yoga Asana Class10:00 - Breakfast11:00 - Karma yoga (I was working in the ashram shop)12:00 - Sometimes a talk on the Bagavad Gita2:00 - Talk on the 5 points of yoga3:30 - Chai& snack4:00 - Yoga Asana Class6:00 - Dinner7:30 - Evening Satsang10:30 - Lights outour pure veg brunch (no onion, garlic, chili or meat) - good food, but fairly bland..On some days there were cultural evenings with local dance or performance groups came, and twice a week there was a sunrise and sunset walk to the nearby dam forsatsang. It was a tiring schedule, and by day three my body was aching! But it felt great to have a completely healthy and pure fortnight. It felt like a surreal place to be - a community of foreigners bustling about learning about yoga. This particular ashram is quite touristy, being run by foreigners too. There were only a handful of Indians on the courses, as well as some of the staff. So it was a bit of a contrast to the yoga centre I had been attending in Bhubaneswar, where I would often be the only foreigner there (until I spread the word to the other ex pats to join!).I recorded "Jaya Ganesha" on my ipod on my last day at the ashram. This is the first song we would chant every morning and night atSatsang.The hall full of people singing, clapping and playing musical instruments, it was a nice atmosphere. At the time I got pretty bored hearing the same songs twice a day, but hearing it now gives me happy memories of my days at Sivananda:Jaya Ganesha byJane FeeneyThe great things about Sivananda, being an international yoga school, are that it was very well organised, structured and I progressed a lot quicker during the intense 2 weeks than in a couple of months of my morning classes in Bhub. Also it was nice to have the full experience of living there and the location was perfect - nestled in the south Indian jungle, near a lion park so during morning meditation you could hear the lions growling! I left after 12 days, as my schedule was tight, but I loved the experience. Yoga is one of my favourite things which I'll take from my year in India, and I think I will continue to practise the rest of my life. The silent meditation retreat and yoga ashram have really opened my mind to the immense world of yoga and I really want to learn more, so I'm looking forward to checking out some yoga centres when I get back to London.the nice greenery of the ashram groundsevening satsang at the main hall, with visitors from theSivanandacentres around the world(the people in orange)